Weasels and martens, belong to the Mustelidae family, which also includes fishers, skunks, badgers, minks, otters and wolverines. Weasels and martens can wreak havoc on poultry houses and even attack domestic pets.
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Recognising the Predators
Common weasels range from 7 to 23 inches in length and are generally brown and yellow in the summer and white with a black-tipped tail in the winter. Martens have similar dimensions, but are buff-coloured, with darker fur on their legs and vertical black stripes above their eyes.
Although they feed on rats, mice and other rodents, weasels are notorious for raiding poultry houses or attacking mammals much larger than they are. They can squeeze through tiny openings in sheds and barns.
Keep outbuildings weasel- and marten-proof by eliminating all openings larger than 1 inch. Hardware cloth works well for this purpose.
Buy steel traps, sized 0 or 1. Set these traps inside inverted wooden crates. Cut a 2- or 3-inch hole near the bottom of the crates on both ends. Put oats or other grains inside the crate to attract mice. Once the weasels detect the smell of the rodents, they'll slip through the holes in the crate and be killed by the trap. Alternatively, buy live traps if you're willing to relocate the weasels. Use fresh meat as bait.
Placing the Traps
Places these where weasels like to investigate, including brush piles, stone walls and fences. Put old boards over the pile to keep other wildlife from being lured into the traps.
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